Newlywed Lerner Says Uncle Boogie Not In Sham Stakes ‘Just To Fill The Race’

Andrew Lerner didn’t go on a honeymoon after he got married last Sunday. The 31-year-old trainer will celebrate later, but he could get an early start if longshot Uncle Boogie wins Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

It will take some doing, however. Uncle Boogie, at 12-1 on Jon White’s morning line, is the longest shot in the one-mile Kentucky Derby prep. He faces two promising colts trained by John Shirreffs and two by Bob Baffert, including 2-5 morning line favorite Life Is Good, already earmarked for the Hall of Fame in the opinion of some insiders, although he has had only one race.

Lerner and his bride, Katie, will have a “mini-honeymoon” at Cabo San Lucas in a couple weeks, since training requires a 24/7 commitment and “it’s really tough to get away,” Lerner noted.

“Uncle Boogie is a longshot, but he’s done nothing wrong so far and he definitely deserves a chance. He broke his maiden first out (by 6 ¼ lengths in a $32,000 claimer at Santa Anita last Oct. 12), then ran two seconds. He had trouble at the start in the (G3) Bob Hope and was too far back … so we’re not in the Sham just to fill the race.”

Uncle Boogie is owned by Eric Homme, who “got into the game two years ago taking fractional percentages of horses. Uncle Boogie is the first horse he owns solely,” Lerner said.

Lerner already has had one winner this meet but it came while he was getting married, so he didn’t have a chance to enjoy it. Octopus, of which Lerner owns a share along with Alydom Racing LLC, won Sunday’s sixth race by a length and a quarter as the 4-5 favorite under Joel Rosario.

“I didn’t get to watch it,” Lerner said, “My best man was giving his speech but my Dad (Ross) was behind him watching it on his phone simultaneously, and no one knew. But he gave me a signal that we won, so I knew what was going on.

“I was under the chuppah at the time but we were in the reception area kind of doing dinner and speeches with the best man and the bridesmaids. I didn’t have my phone. I lost my phone privileges for the day, but my Dad came through like he always does.”

Shalom and Happy New Year.

The field for the Sham, race eight of nine with a 12:30 p.m. first post time: Medina Spirit, Abel Cedillo, 6-1; Waspirant, Umberto Rispoli, 15-1; Parnelli, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-2; Uncle Boogie, Flavien Prat, 12-1; and Life Is Good, Mike Smith, 2-5.

The post Newlywed Lerner Says Uncle Boogie Not In Sham Stakes ‘Just To Fill The Race’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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